BOHEMIANS 0 SLIGO ROVERS 2
Bohemians’ poor home form continued as they lost a game in which they were the better side for the vast majority of proceedings, writes CONOR HAYES. A header from former Bohs man Evan McMillan and a goal on the counter attack from Danny North gave the Bit O’ Red a fortuitous win at a sunny Dalymount Park on Easter Monday.
It will be a tough defeat for Owen Heary’s side to take as again a defensive error at a crucial moment allowed a largely lacklustre Sligo to grab a foothold in a game when it appeared Bohs might be able to fashion their first home league win of the season.
There were four changes from the defeat at St Pat’s on Friday with Philip McCabe, Karl Moore, Paddy Kavanagh and Steven Beattie coming in, the latter starting in a forward role.
The visitors, however, started with confidence as one would expect from a team who had scored 10 goals in their last two matches and it was Joseph Ndo who created an early opening. With less than three minutes gone, the Cameroonian veteran produced a trademark flick into Kieran Djilali, who could only scuff his shot wide. Bohs then responded with their first effort on goal as Mulcahy won a battle in midfield and laid it off for Paddy Kavanagh but his attempt flew wide.
20-year-old McCabe unfortunately went off feeling ill after 15 minutes but his replacement Kevin Devaney was proving a decent attacking outlet for the home side and he was involved in two half-chances around the half-hour mark. First he crossed in for Ryan McEvoy, who may have been better shooting himself instead of passing it to Craig Walsh in an offside position.
Next, the Sligo native ran on to Kavangh’s through ball but could only lift it over Gary Rogers goal.
The game had a sleepy Bank Holiday feel to it and it seemed to be drifting quietly towards half-time before Bohs and Devaney again produced the best chance of the opening period. Latching on to a throw-in, he fought his way between Sligo defenders Jeff Henderson and Ross Gaynor and fired a shot which was well parried by Rogers.
The home side began the second half with similar purpose as good play by Devaney set up Mulcahy to have a crack, but the effort was far too high. The Bohs skipper almost opened his account a few minutes later as his header from a Ryan McEvoy free kick went a lot closer but also over the bar.
Bohs were motoring now and Walsh was released down the left hand side but his hooked cross into the box was just cleared in time by Jeff Henderson, while Devaney waited to pounce. With 15 minutes gone of the second half, Bohs were pressing high up the pitch nearly broke the deadlock as McEvoy almost caught Rogers napping while he dallied on the ball in front of goal.
Just a minute later, the men in red and black missed a glorious opportunity as great play from Moore on the left saw him find Walsh inside the area but he placed his shot just wide of Rogers right-hand post.
Sligo came into it more as the game clock went past 70 minutes as David Cawley shot wide after nice play from Djilali. But Bohs responded in kind and again pressing created a chance as Stephen Traynor, on as a sub for Walsh, robbed Ndo and was through on goal but was taken down by Henderson. The ref only produced a yellow which given the circumstances was rather lenient.
Derek Pender then came to the rescue for Bohs as John Russell produced a surging run and a dangerous ball into the danger zone but the Gypsies’ vice-captain just slid in time and prevented a goal.
With 12 minutes remaining, Sligo took the lead as Djilali’s corner to the back post went through Lee Murphy’s hands and landed into the path of McMillan who nodded home.
The goal seemed to really demoralise Bohemians and in their fruitless attempt for an equaliser, they looked vulnerable on the counter attack. First Djilali missed a sitter after great work from Danny North but then as the game entered injury time, the former Grimsby striker finished the job himself. Roberto Lopes missed his clearence and the ball fell to another substitute Sean Maguire, finding North who finished powerfully.
There was still time for Bohs to force a penalty as Russell handled in the area but just to complete a hapless day, Jason Byrne’s effort lacked conviction and was easily held by Rogers diving to his left.
A third defeat in a row then and little comfort will be drawn from the fact that on Friday they travel to Leeside for a clash against top-of-the-table Cork City.
BOHEMIANS: Lee Murphy, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Philip McCabe (Kevin Devaney 15), Karl Moore, Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy, Craig Walsh (Stephen Traynor 63), Paddy Kavanagh (Jason Byrne 83), Steven Beattie. Subs not used: Dean Delany, Dano Byrne, Jake Hyland, Keith Buckley.
SLIGO ROVERS: Gary Rogers, Alan Keane, Danny Ledwith, Evan McMillan, Jeff Henderson, David Cawley, Ross Gaynor (John Russell 61), Paul O’Conor (Danny North 61), Joseph Ndo (Sean Maguire 77), Aaron Greene, Kieran Djilali. Subs not used: Richard Brush, Kalen Spillane, Eric Odhiambo, Jack Dykes.
REFEREE: Jim McKell
Mr GREEN MAN OF THE MATCH: Kevin Devaney.